HAMDEN, Conn. (WTNH) — All eyes will be on the first GOP debate Thursday night as the top ten candidates go head to head, vying to become the next president of the United States.
“The debate is going to be a republican heavyweight fight,” said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the well-respected Quinnipiac University Poll.
The poll is cited often during political campaigns and provides a glimpse of where candidates stand in a given election.
“I think anybody who watches polling should realize it’s a snap shot in time,” said Malloy. It’s not firm, it could change tomorrow.”
Quinnipiac University has 5 or 6 analysts who keep a close eye on trends in the news and then write carefully scripted questions which are then given to pollsters. They will then make random calls to people across the country for up to a week and ask them various questions related to a candidates and campaigns. That data is then used to determine which candidates are in the lead or falling behind in a race.
The latest Quinnipiac Poll has billionaire businessman Donald Trump leading in the republican race. He’s one of 10 candidates allowed to take part in tonight’s primetime debate because of high poll numbers. Trump has made numerous headlines in recent weeks, which have been a mix of good and bad. That’s why many eyes will be on him Thursday night.
“If he handles it well he could maintain where he is,” said Malloy. “If he butchers it he could drop in the polls.”
Some of the other candidates in the debate include Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush. Career politicians who will have to go head-to-head with Trump and his often brash and outspoken demeanor.
“I think you’ll see most of the candidates try to old their ground. Maybe the top ones like Bush and Walker may have to get a bit more abrasive than they are,” said Malloy.
Malloy says if a particular candidate rises or plummets in the debate it will give democrats an idea of who the republican contender may be.